What are the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms

carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms

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Carbon monoxide poisoning can be especially dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated. People may have irreversible brain damage or even be killed before anyone realizes there’s a problem. The most Common carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are :-

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms & Signs

Carboxyhaemoglobin <25% 

  Cherry-red or pink colour of skin

  Dyspnoea on exertion, tachypnoea

•  Headache, lack of concentration, psychomotor retardation, fatigue, vertigo

•  Nausea, Vomiting

•  Visual disturbances

  Angina may be precipitated in patients with coronary artery disease

Carboxyhaemoglobin 25-50%

•  In addition to above, there may be confusion, seizures, collapse and cerebral oedema

Carboxyhaemoglobin >50%

  Hypotension, slowing pf pulse rate, respiratory depression pulmonary oedema, coma

•  ECG abnormalities. Angina may develop

Carboxyhaemoglobin >70%

•  Rapidly fatal

Investigations :-

  Raised arterial or venous carboxyhaemoglobin saturation on blood gas analysis.

  Metabolic acidosis on blood gas analysis.

•  Partial pressure of Oxygen and calculated oxygen saturation by pulse oximeter may be normal as it cannot distinguish oxyhaemoglobin from carboxyhaemoglobin. Actual oxygen saturation is decreased.

Now a days a newer pulse oximetry device. the pulse co-oximeter is capable of distinguishing oxyhaemoglobin from carboxy haemoglobin.

If you breathe in large amounts on Carbon Monoxide your body will begin to replace the oxygen in your blood with Carbon Monoxide. When this occurs, you can become unconscious. Death may occur in these cases.

You should go to the hospital right away if you’ve been exposed to a source of carbon monoxide, even if you don’t show symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. The warning signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle. But the condition is a life-threatening medical emergency. If you think you or someone you’re with may have carbon monoxide poisoning, get into fresh air and seek emergency medical care.

Also Read : Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


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